Looking Back at 2015

2015 was a big year for The Rising.

It started off with a bang. David Valentine wrote a post called "Christians: Please Don't Eat Oreos" and it went viral. We hit 20,000 page views in January along-- a new record!

For the first few months of the year, we were operating with a small team, writing solid content, but the site and our team felt a little unorganized. We started to feel like we could do so much more with the website and our team, but that we needed to step away from it to get a better perspective. It felt like the time to take a chance, to really work to build something strong, to equip our team to be united and fired up about the work we were doing together.

In May, we took down the site. David wrote this piece about it: The Long Pause, Anticipation, And A Great Shift.

For several months, this is what The Rising looked like:

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From May through September, The Rising was the first and last thing I though about every single day. I worked to build an entirely new site that would have a much better experience for our readers. I had great conversations with each member of my team and was so encouraged by their tireless passion. I spent a lot of time asking questions and learning from people who were much better leaders than me, soaking up as much wisdom as I could from their experience.

Our team started to grow, and we didn't even have a working website to show for ourselves. It was amazing. People wanted to be on board and it fueled our fire even more.

In September, The Rising came back to life, like a phoenix rising from ashes. It was beautiful. It was exciting. The response was humbling. We were back in action again, better than ever!

We had enough writers to publish a new post every day, sometimes even more than one a day. (I can't wait for the day we're publishing new content every few hours and we laugh at this.)

In October, we added two assistant editors to the ranks to help manage the fantastic content that goes live every day. They've been an invaluable help.

Now? It's December 28. Our team has multiplied by leaps and bounds.

We now have a core team of 4: myself, David, Holly, and Taylor. We have 3 weekly columnists: Janice, Mark, and I.

We have 7 monthly members: Erica, Amber, Dawn, Emilee, Rachel, Becca, and Hunter.

We have had posts from 17 guest bloggers grace our pages: Cameron, Caitlyn, Nikki, Blair, Adam, Quinn, Annie D., Wills, Michael, Tracey, Cassie, Kate, Marcus, Kory, Elena, Annie W., John, Leah, and Ashley.

We have an OUTSTANDING team.

We wrote posts in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, the hunger strikes at Mizzou, shootings in Oregon, police violence in South Carolina.

We raved about Justin Bieber, gave book recommendations (in three-part series and in lists too), shared weekly videos, reviewed new technology, took you on tours of one city and then another.

We made you playlists, talked about sex, retold stories in Scripture, talked about evolution, learned from Cosmos, defended pacifism.

We challenged the status quo. We shared our stories. We built an authentic, transformative community all around the world. We saw our mission come to fruition, and it blew us away.

2015 was a big year for The Rising.

May 2016 be even bigger. May we discover even more innovative and creative ways to challenge what we see around us, and may we always be evolving to a higher, better, truer place. May we seek God in all of it and point back to him through every word. 

We can't wait for all that's ahead. Thanks for supporting us in this wild journey. 

Cheers to a new year!